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Talented students get better grades with less work – research

The gifted ones put in only the minimum amount of effort to get by and spend their extra time elsewhere. Source: Shutterstock

The gifted study less than their peers at university, new research has revealed, according to Times Higher Education.

When tested on reading and math skills, researchers learnt those who performed best put in fewer hours of study and did not work as hard as other learners.

“The talented guys give less effort than others,” said Adrian Chadi, co-author and a researcher at the Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union at Trier University.

The test results represent students’ intrinsic “ability” better than their grades, Chadi explained, because grades are normally closely related to effort.

Since some exams require students to merely memorise or to only get “satisfactory” marks, the gifted ones thus turn to putting in only the minimum amount of effort to get by. Extra time is spent elsewhere, such as extra-curricular or career-building activities, Chadi suggested.

This is a pity to the government spending taxpayer money on higher education, however, as they are not milking the maximum results for this group of students, such as by getting them to take a shorter time to get their degrees.

Chadi suggested a few ways to spur these students to do better: Tougher exams or higher fees.

Exams should dump the old method of testing how well students “memorised our [lecture] slides”. Whereas fees could be raised to the level like it is in the United Kingdom so that higher amount of money invested becomes an incentive to finish studying on time.

However, Chadi notes standardised tests of students’ abilities would also need to be conducted in other countries to learn how applicable the findings are.

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